As I was growing up, I had a wonderful childhood. Even today, everyone always compares our family to one of the old shows like Father Knows Best or one of the other ones. Was our family perfect? Of course not! Until my parents moved farther away though, we still had family meetings to discuss things. I always loved little kids, and started babysitting when I was 12. Then I started teaching Sunday School when I was 16. I always dreamed of having an orphanage and taking in all of the kids that didn’t have parents.
In June of ’89 I was married and we wanted a family. We were unable to have kids. I was fine with adopting, but goodness who could afford it? Certainly not us! We received many information packets that were filed away, praying we would be able to use one of them someday. Along the way we had several private adoptions to come and go, and my heart was broken time and time again. No one understood the pain of wanting kids but not being able to have any. It began to attack my faith…after all why pray if God wouldn’t answer this one prayer?
We moved and started going to another church. The church had something after the service, and out of over 300 people attending, we sat down right bedside a couple going through the same thing as we were. We became really good friends, and over the next couple of years, there were around 10 couples in our church that were unable to have kids. Two of the couples had adopted. One of these couples started a class for us and helped us. They had someone to come and talk to us from DHS, and we decided to go through that door. After the 4th class we knew for sure, that is the route we would go to adopt. We didn’t want to be foster parents in the beginning, because I felt like I needed at least one child that was ours. So we were just opening up our home as an adoptive home. Easy right? Not for them. It took us 3 years to get approved. Our home study was lost 3 times, and our file was moved too many times to count (to a new worker). It finally landed on the desk of a friend, and she got everything done and and sent in and told us now to just wait. So we waited and we waited. One day my sister-in-law called me and told me that her mom called her, and they were doing a show on adoption on the Maury Polvich Show. I inquired about a sibling group of 4. When they contacted me they asked for our adoption specialist and I didn’t have a clue. We were turned down for that sibling group because one of the kids was 12, and when we started we didn’t want kids that were older than the years we were married. When we found our adoption specialist, I was told that there was no way that we could ever adopt unless we were foster parents. I told him that I didn’t think I could handle losing a child unless I had at least one that was ours. So I called my friend from another county and asked for a copy of our home study. I sent it to surrounding states and also to AASK adoption. From Jan to May we had 4 different sets of kids that we were being considered for, and we were turned down for two of them because we lacked parenting skills. What? Now we have to be parents first?!
I started getting really angry with God at this point. Why did he trust us to teach 38 three to five year olds, but couldn’t trust us to have our own kids. I couldn’t understand. We were starting a revival and our pastor asked us to write down 3 prayers that we wanted answered during this revival. When we got home my husband asked me what I wrote down. I said “Nothing. He doesn’t answer my prayers.” My husband said, “maybe He doesn’t intend on us having kids.” So I screamed at him, “THEN HE’S A CRUEL GOD!!!” Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. I really believed that if God didn’t intend for us to have kids, then he would change my desire to have them.
Finally in May of ’99, my phone rang and when I answered, the lady told me who she was and that she was from CA. She wanted to know if we would be interested in adopting a 4 and a half year old little Hispanic boy. Of course I said yes. I was so excited I forgot to ask what his name was. Six and a half weeks later he was in our home. They said it was the fastest out-of-state adoption they had ever seen.
The next month we opened our home as a foster home. We were no longer actively trying to adopt, but of course we still wanted to. The next year, we adopted a little baby boy that was abandoned. He was 4 days old when he came to our home. There was a lot that happened the next year that made us decide to close our home. We still didn’t feel like our family was complete, but we had had enough. About 3 years later we saw a tpr (termination of parental rights) notice in the paper for a four year old little girl, so we reopened our home. Things went so much smoother this time. It only took us a year to get everything done. We got 2 little boys, 17 months and 2-1/2 and 3 weeks later got the little girl we had seen in the paper. She had just turned 6. We went on to adopt these 3, plus the baby sister of the 2 little boys, after she was born. Over the years as foster parents, we had 85 kids come through our home, and we adopted 6.